USA Today profiles ‘new star’ Queen Underwood

Garfield High’s Queen Underwood keeps making headlines. She was profiled in USA Today, which called her one of the stars of the 2012 Games that “could have widespread impact.”

Photo from USA Boxing

By winning a gold medal in the Olympic debut of women’s boxing, Queen Underwood could help knock down gender barriers and lift USA Boxing out of its Olympic doldrums.

“I think it could change the course of everything — the image — and give us a persona that we could really embrace,” U.S. boxing national coach Joe Zanders says.

It won’t be easy. Although Underwood was the only U.S. boxer to win a world championship medal (bronze) last year in an Olympic weight class, she fights in the same division as the world’s most dominant Olympic-style women’s boxer, Ireland’s Katie Taylor.

Underwood is undaunted. With resolve steeled not only through her chosen sport but also her chosen career — she is a journeyman sprinkler fitter in Seattle — she does not shy away from declaring her intentions to win Olympic gold.

“I’m putting a lot of hard work into it,” she says. “And yes, it’s amazing, it’s frightening, it’s a lot of stuff. But I believe that it can happen.”

They also shot a quick video:

Underwood was training at Cappy’s Boxing Gym at 21st and Union, but her training team here, dubbed the “Queen Team,” had to call it quits after running out of money. She is continuing her quest for Olympic gold at Tacoma Boxing Club.

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